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Research and readings

This section provides links to up-to-date research, which supports the development of e-learning capability.

Read e-learning research reports  from the Ministry of Education.

Leadership l Teaching l Professional learning l Technologies l Ministry initiatives

Leadership

Primary and intermediate schools 2013
This report presents the main findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools, conducted in July and August 2013. It reports on the views of principals, teachers, boards of trustees and parents. It covers many aspects of school experience, including school resources, school interactions with government agencies, the New Zealand Curriculum in schools, National Standards, student wellbeing, and use of technology.
Authors: Cathy Wylie and Linda Bonne, NZCER
Published: 2014 

Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching – a New Zealand perspective
This research project draws together findings from new data and more than 10 years of research on current practice and futures-thinking in education. The report discusses some emerging principles for future learning, how these are currently expressed in New Zealand educational thinking and practice, and what they could look like in future practice.
Author(s): Rachel Bolstad and Jane Gilbert, with Sue McDowall, Ally Bull, Sally Boyd and Rosemary Hipkins [New Zealand Council for Educational Research]
Published: June 2012

e-Learning and implications for New Zealand schools: a literature review
This e-learning literature review examined texts across a range of countries (2005-2010). A key finding was that an e-learning-rich environment may make peer and collaborative learning opportunities easier, and may lead to improved educational outcomes. This way of working also appears to suit many New Zealand students, including Māori.
Author: Noeline Wright
Published: July 2010

School leadership and student outcomes: Identifying what works and why best evidence synthesis
The big finding of the BES is that when school leaders promote and/or participate in effective teacher professional learning, this has twice the impact on student outcomes across a school than any other leadership activity. New Zealand principals spend less time on those activities that make the most difference than many of their international peers.
Author(s): Viviane Robinson, Margie Hohepa, Claire Lloyd [The University of Auckland]
Published: November 2009

Leadership: An evolving vision and digital pedagogy
Principal Roz Mexted attended Leadership: An Evolving Vision course at Harvard University, Graduate School of Education. She reports on this intensive leadership course for experienced principals, and her following visit to three Queensland Academies focused on digital pedagogy, using web 2.0 technologies in all aspects of teaching and learning.
Author: Roz Mexted
Published: 2009

Leading change
This New Zealand Education Gazette article looks at how leadership was the key to fostering Māori education success in a small rural Northland school. The article outlines examples of the "clearly visible" correlation between culture and learner achievement. 
Published: March 2009

School leadership and student outcomes - Identifying what works and why
The leadership synthesis analyses national and international evidence on the impact of leadership on a wide range of student outcomes.
Author: Professor Viviane M. J. Robinson
Published: October 2007

Educational Leaders: Eight forces for leaders of change
This article considers the process of leading change in schools. The 'eight' forces are guidelines that provide ways to think about the process, and suggest topics for discussion and evaluation of the process. It would be useful to use at the beginning of a change phase within a school, and to share with staff so that they come to understand the various stages in the process of implementing change in a school.
Author(s): Michael Fullan, Claudia Cuttress, and Ann Kilcher
Published: 2005

This Canadian article focuses on successful strategies for building teamwork amongst teaching staff and administrators, to create a collaborative culture. A key aspect of this is the development of a collaborative and shared leadership that is transparent to all staff and students.
Authors: Deborah Patterson and Carol Rolheiser
Published: 2004

Outlines a successful strategic planning process used in schools to implement a school wide vision. The authors highlight that the process must be owned by the staff not just the principal. 
Authors: Jan Hill, Kay Hawk and Kerry Taylor from the Institute for Professional Development and Education Research
Published: April 2001

Teaching

Preparing for a Renaissance in Assessment
This is a summary of the article Preparing for a Renaissance in Assessment, written by Pearson’s Chief Education Advisor, Sir Michael Barber and assessment expert, Dr Peter Hill. Writer Vicky Weston notes how the authors argue that current assessment methods are no longer working, and that new technologies will transform assessment and testing in education. It itemises steps in a "Framework for Action" that the authors suggest should be taken for policymakers, schools, school-system leaders, and other key players to prepare for the assessment renaissance. The page has a link to the download and an includes an online interview with the authors.

Science in the New Zealand Curriculum e-in-science 
This is a milestone report for the MInistry of Education on the e-learning in science project. It explores the possibilities that exist for e-in-science to enhance student engagement and learning in science. It draws on data from a survey of 343 New Zealand teachers.
Author: Cathy Buntting
Published: 2012 

Digital readers at age 15: An overview of the PISA 2009 Electronic Reading Assessment
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international study that assesses how well countries are preparing their 15-year-old students to meet real-life opportunities and challenges. In 2009, the main PISA study offered countries the option of assessing some of the participating students in reading using a computer based assessment — the Electronic Reading Assessment (ERA). The average (mean) digital reading literacy score for New Zealand 15-year-olds was significantly higher than the print reading literacy score. Compared with other high-performing countries or economies participating in the ERA, New Zealand had a relatively large proportion of students who demonstrated very advanced digital reading skills as well as a relatively high proportion of students who demonstrated poor skills.
Author: Sarah Kirkham
Published: June 2011

PISA 2009 results: Students on line: Digital technologies and performance (volume VI)
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international study. Students from 19 countries were tested on their ability to navigate and evaluate information on line. Key curriculum areas focused on in the report are reading, mathematics, and science. Findings show that, in every participating country, girls outperform boys in reading skills, boys outperform girls in mathematics, and in science gender differences tend to be small. Countries of similar prosperity can produce very different educational results. 
Author: published on the responsibility of the secretary-general of the OECD
Published: June 2011 

Large-scale e-portfolio implementations - introducing the epi research study
This article can be downloaded from the JISC website. It is one of the outputs of the e-Portfolio Implementations Study. The article describes the investigation into established successful use of e-portfolios in 18 schools from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand and the development of a resource to assist schools with implementing the use of e-portfolios. Three broad themes, in the form of questions, structure the guidance the study has developed about e-portfolio implementation. These questions are: 

  • Why should we use e-portfolios now? (the drivers theme) 
  • How do we decide upon which e-portfolio tool to use? (the tools theme) 
  • What does good implementation look like? (the implementation process theme)

Authors: Gordon Joyes and Angela Smallwood
Published: August 2011

This report looks in detail at the learning practices in nine secondary schools in which ICT for learning is well embedded. The study reports that ICT creates the opportunity for a wide variety of learning practices and makes new forms of classroom practice possible. The key changes include:

  • the opportunity to share rich images, video and plans
  • independent research is extended by the availability of internet search opportunities
  • construction of content and knowledge is made possible by ready-to-hand ICT-based tools
  • the reconfiguration of space allowing mobility, flexible working and activity management
  • new ways in which class activities can be triggered, orchestrated and monitored
  • new experiences associated with the virtualisation of established and routine practices – such as using multiple documents in parallel or manipulating spatial representations.

Authors: Charles Crook, Colin Harrison, Lee Farrington-Flint, Carmen Tomás, Jean Underwood
Published: 2010

Literacy teaching and learning in e-learning contexts
This report presents the findings of a research project on literacy teaching and learning in e-learning contexts carried out by CORE Education and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) for the Ministry of Education in 2009.
Author: Sue McDowell
Published: July 2010

Ministry of Education position paper: Assessment
This position paper outlines the Ministry's vision for assessment. It describes what the assessment landscape looks like if assessment is used effectively across all layers of the schooling system. 
Author: Ministry of Education
Published: September 2010 

Assessment for learning and e-portfolios
This efellows research report, written in 2008 by Nick Rate, explores what teachers can do to maximise the formative learning benefits of online e-portfolios.
Author: Nick Rate
Published: 2008

Creating digital age learners through school ICT projects: What can the Tech Angels project teach us?
This article surveys recent work on school ICT projects. It looks at the ideas that are informing this work and surveys some of the strategies being used in the drive to turn schools into "ICT-rich learning environments". In order to illustrate how these ideas play out in "real-world" situations, the article also profiles one New Zealand school-based ICT initiative as a case study—the Tech Angels project at Wellington Girls’ College, focussing in particular on how this school’s experiences can help other schools considering setting up similar programmes.
Authors: Rachel Bolstad and Jane Gilbert
Published: 2006

Educating the net generation
An EDUCAUSE e-Book. This collection explores the Net Gen and the implications for institutions in areas such as teaching, service, learning space design, faculty development, and curriculum. Contributions by educators and students are included.
Editors: Diana G. Oblinger and James L. Oblinger
Published: 2005 

An article describing the effective and innovative integration of ICTs into the classroom.
Author:Tessa Gray
Published: 2004

This white paper discusses the benefits and versatility of e-portfolios.
Author: Bob Banks
Published: December 2004

Professional learning

Browse all BES cases
A complete list of all 32 cases from across the best evidence synthesis (BES) publications on Education Counts. The best evidence syntheses bring together research evidence about ‘what works’ for diverse (all) learners in education.

Inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy
The report acknowledges the education sector is changing significantly as result of new technologies and access to the Internet. It contains 48 recommendations and concludes significant change is required across government if learners and teachers are to take full advantage of the digital learning resources available to them.
Author: Education and Science Committee, Fiftieth Parliament (Nikki Kaye, Chairperson)
Published: 19 December 2012

There is, a growing body of evidence to support the view that digital technologies have the potential to improve student outcomes and to enrich, if not transform, the learning experience of children. This report makes links to research demonstrating the increasing evidence of the positive impact of digital technologies in areas such as motivation, engagement, efficacy, and interaction.
Author: Ministry of Education
Published: July 2012

Outcomes for teaches and students in the ICT PD School Clusters Programme 2006-2008: A national overview
This report focuses on the effectiveness of the 2006-2008 Information and Communication Technologies Professional Development (ICT PD) School Clusters programmes and supplements previous evaluations of the first six ICT PD programmes. It is the last report of an ongoing evaluation of the ICT PD teacher professional development initiative, which has been implemented in New Zealand since 1999.
Author(s): Selver Sahin & Vince Ham
Published: May 2010

Strategies to promote the development of e-competencies in the next generation of professionals: European and international trends
This study analyses the effectiveness of policies, strategies, and programmes that promote the acquisition of e-literacies, focusing in particular on the younger generation. Based on the benchmarking of different studies about the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on students’ learning, this work proposes a re-definition of the term "e-competencies".  A set of best practices for the development of the future e-competent labour force is identified.
Author: Juan Cristobal Cobo Romani
Published: November 2009

Outcomes for teachers and students in the ICT PD School Clusters Programme 2005-2007: A national overview
This report focuses on the effectiveness of the 2005-2007 Information and Communication Technologies Professional Development (ICT PD) School Clusters programmes and supplements previous evaluations of the first five ICT PD programmes. It is part of an ongoing evaluation of the ICT PD teacher professional development initiative, which has been implemented in New Zealand since 1999.
Author: Vince Ham
Published: July 2009

This paper briefly outlines the importance of professional learning in the secondary school context, reviews relevant research on professional learning groups, and then outlines the experiences of two schools that have introduced such groups.
Author: Roger Baldwin
Published: 2008

Key elements for a Māori e-learning framework
This paper outlines some of the key elements for a Māori e-learning and e-teaching framework from the personal experiences of a Māori lecturer and e-educator. The concepts for discussion include manaakitanga (caring), te taha wairua (spiritual well-being), and the need to establish and maintain online pastoral care of all students.
Author: Sheryl Lee Ferguson
Published: 2008

Information and Communication Technologies Professional Development (ICTPD) School Clusters Programme
This page on the Education Counts website provides links to evaluations of the Information and Communication Technologies Professional Development (ICTPD) teacher professional development initiative.

A summary of the findings of the 2005 research into knowledge and skills required for effective ICTPD facilitation.
Author: Jedd Bartlett
Published: 2006

Questions and answers: A conversation with Thomas R. Guskey
Gusky describes his five-level model for evaluating professional development.
Authors: H. Kreider & S. Bouffard
Published: 2006  

e-Fellowship research project on the study of the facilitator’s role and others in creating sustainability of the ICTPD School Cluster Professional Development model in New Zealand.
Author: Mel Rodden
Published: 2004

What makes for effective teacher professional development in ICT?
Since 1999, the Ministry of Education has provided funding for clusters of schools to develop three year ICT professional development programmes for their teachers. This evaluation of the clusters between 1999 and 2001 focuses on:

  • assessing the ingredients for successful cluster models of ICT teacher professional development
  • the effects of the professional development on classroom teaching and student learning
  • wider school effects of the professional development such as planning and administration.

Authors: Vince Ham, with Alison Gilmore, Annelise Kachelhoffer, Donna Morrow, Peter Moeau and Derek Wenmoth.
Published: 2002

Technologies

Disrupting the boundaries of teaching and learning: How digital devices became a resource for transformative change in a time of crisis
This report discusses findings from The Pegasus Digital Devices Project, an initiative of the Greater Christchurch School Network (GCSN), in response to the earthquakes of Christchurch in 2010 and 2011. The Pegasus Digital Devices Project saw the integration of 600 digital devices into 11 primary schools from the eastern Pegasus Bay region of Christchurch. The report outlines how the project came about, who was involved, how the devices were integrated into schools, and the learning and change that occurred for teachers, students and the community as a result.
Authors: Louise Taylor, Tara Fagan and Merryn Dunmill (CORE Education) for Ministry of Education
Published: April 2014

3D printers in schools: uses in the curriculum
Twenty one schools were funded by the Department for Education in the United Kingdom to explore the potential for use of 3D printers to enrich teaching across science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and design subjects. In particular, schools were asked to explore innovative ways of using the technology to help teach more complex scientific and mathematical ideas. This report outlines what was learnt from the project.
Author: Department for Education, UK Government Publications 
Published: October 2013

School ICT infrastructure survey
The School ICT Infrastructure Survey provides information about the current state of ICT infrastructure in New Zealand schools, how they are currently using technology, and what they would find valuable in terms of content and services to enhance teaching and learning. The survey was completed by 600 schools across the sector. The survey shows that existing school infrastructure is in a relatively good state. While most schools are embracing digital learning, they are keen to upgrade their internal networks through the School Network Upgrade Project (SNUP) to ensure service quality is retained as technology demands increase.
Authors: Schools Infrastructure Group, Ultra-fast Broadband in Schools, Ministry of Education.
Published: April 2013

Data systems in secondary schools: The state of play
This study examines the data systems that are in place for supporting teachers in building a comprehensive profile of student learning. A data audit protocol was developed by the researchers to analyse the responses from key personnel from secondary schools in the Auckland region in relation to SMS data organisation and use. The results indicated that schools were rich with data but lacked a systematic and coherent approach to school-wide data collection and use. Three implications for practice are suggested. This article is located in Computers in New Zealand Schools: Learning, Teaching, Technology 24 (2). 
Authors: S. E. Irving &  M. Gan
Published: 2012 

Informing one-to-one computing in primary schools: Student use of netbooks
This article from the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology analyses key findings from a study conducted in four Year 7 classrooms in which students were provided with netbook computers as an alternative to more expensive laptop computers. Variable access was provided to students including computer to student ratios of one-to-one and one-to-two. Findings indicated that increased access to the netbook computers resulted in increases in computer usage by these students, compared with their minimal use of computers before the study. The article reports that factors contributing to the minimal use of computers included individual teacher agency, a crowded curriculum, and the historical use of computers. Implications for policy and practice are suggested.
Authors: Kevin Larkin and Glenn Finger
Published: 2011

A literature review focused on Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and e-learning in the context of Te Reo Māori and Kaupapa Māori education 
The Ministry of Education has identified the need to further explore the use of Virtual Learning Environments particularly in the context of te reo Māori and kaupapa Māori education. This literature review was sought to provide further understanding for the Ministry of Education in this area.
Authors: Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai & Hans Tiakiwai
Published: March 2010

Learning spaces and effective pedagogy: What does our space 'say'?
This document, accessed from the Educational Leaders website, supports school leaders as they facilitate dialogue on the design of learning spaces, both physical and virtual. The focus is on providing an environment that supports using technologies in a collaborative way for learning.
Author: Rochelle Jensen
Published: July 2010 

ICT in schools surveys 
The 2020 ICT in Schools Reports present information on the surveys coordinated by the Trust. They include results of developments into school ICT infrastructure, the use of networks, software, teaching applications, internet access and usage, ICT planning and funding, e-learning developments, professional development, and use of social software. The survey has been carried out every two years since 1993.
Authors: Prepared by Research New Zealand

Mobile phones in the classroom - Education Review article
This article by Toni Twiss is a summary of her research into how mobile phone use can supplement traditional ways of teaching and open up new and different ways of learning.
Author: Toni Twiss
Published: August 2009

Video conferencing in distance learning: A New Zealand schools' perspective
This article traces the development of video conferencing in distance learning across the New Zealand secondary school sector. It begins with an overview of the definition and development of distance learning; then traces the technology of video conferencing from its inception to the present day. It goes on to look at the growth of video conferencing, the role and contribution it has made to distance learning in New Zealand schools, then concludes with a brief discussion of possible future directions.
Author: Rachel Roberts
Published: 2009

How can 20th century classrooms be modified to accommodate the needs of 21st century learners?
Principal of Waipahihi School, Helen Malcolm's sabbatical report provides research into learning environments that enable successful 21st century learning. She focused on: what can be done to modify existing classrooms to make them effective 21st century learning environments, how ICT's have been incorporated into learning environments to maximise their use as learning tools and to support current pedagogy, how ICT's have been incorporated across the school - the rationale behind the big picture, and what has been done to increase the teacher's ability in meeting student learning needs.
Author: Helen Malcolm
Published: 2009

Learning spaces
This e-book explores the design of learning spaces in secondary schools. The focus is on planning for the use of technology to ensure learner success. This site also offers case studies including links to examples of innovative learning spaces.
Editor: Diana Oblinger
Published: 2006

Classroom design best practice
This report on the Ministry of Education website informs on all aspects of classroom and school design including planning for the use of technology with regard to practicalities such as spaces for learning and furniture as well as the relationship between educational vision and overall school design.
Author: AC Nielson (NZ) Ltd
Published: January 2004 

Ministry Initiatives

Future-focused learning in connected communities 
This report aims to help inform government planning around 21st century skills and digital competencies. It suggests ten strategic priorities, including the creation of modern learning environments that are vibrant and safe, investment in high-quality content and systems, and development of collaborative networks for teachers and leaders to share ideas. The report covers potential device policies and further professional development for teachers.
Authors: Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye's 21st Century Learning Reference Group
Published: May 2014

e-Learning research and evaluation
The Ministry of Education commissions a variety of research and evaluation around the impact of e-learning practices in education. Overall the Ministry's research and evaluation of e-learning aims to:

  • assess the impacts of Ministry e-learning initiatives across the education sector to strengthen planning and implementation
  • explore e-learning practices that make a positive difference to learning
  • support educators to make critical and reflective pedagogical decisions about their use of e-learning.

The Ministry of Education has published a number of research reports on e-learning, which are available from the e-Learning publication home page.

Accelerating the progress of priority learners in primary schools, May 2013
This national report presents the findings of ERO’s recent evaluation about the extent to which primary schools were using effective strategies to improve outcomes for priority groups of learners. In this report ‘priority learners’ refers to Māori, Pacific, special needs, and students from low income families, who are not achieving at or above National Standards.
Authors: Education Review Office – Te Tari Arotake Matauranga
Published: May 2013

Statements of intent
This link to the Ministry of Education website lists all the Statements of intent. From here you can access the Ministry of Education’s Statement of Intent 2013 – 2018 which sets out the key elements of how they will contribute to the delivery of Government’s priorities for education.

ICT in schools report 2011: Information and Communications technology in New Zealand Schools 1993-2011
This report, carried out for the 20/20 Communications Trust, outlines several major findings. Students have good access to ICTs at school and principals report that the Internet is having a significant impact on teaching and learning but bandwidth and data caps are constraining usage. Most schools waiting for the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband have indicated they will need professional development for teachers, upgrades to existing technologies, and better technical support.
Authors: Mark Johnson, Joe Hedditch, and Ian Yin from Research New Zealand
Published: December 2011

eFellows research reports 
The e-Learning Fellowship initiative was funded by the Ministry of Education from 2003-2009. Annually, up to ten teachers in early childhood, primary, and secondary are released from the classroom to conduct an eFellowship session with academic support and mentoring, including professional learning workshops for two weeks each term, and participation in an online learning community.

TELA laptops scheme school survey 2013
This report outlines the results of the TELA Laptops Scheme School Survey for 2013. This survey was conducted in order to determine whether the current products offered by the TELA Scheme are meeting user needs and to examine the quality of support services schools receive from Telecom Rental.
Authors: Emanuel Kalafatelis, Katrina Magill and Hayley Stirling, Research New Zealand.
Published: July 2014 

Laptops for teachers: An evaluation of the TELA scheme in schools (Years 1 to 3)
This evaluation reports on the impacts of the Laptops for Teachers Scheme on Years 1 to 3 teachers’ work in the Waikato region.
Authors: Bronwen Cowie, Alister Jones & Ann Harlow, with Mike Forret
Published: July 2010

Laptops for Teachers: An evaluation of the TELA scheme in Auckland schools
This evaluation reports on the impacts of the Laptops for Teachers Scheme (TELA) on primary schools within the Greater Auckland area.
Authors: Assoc. Prof. Judy Parr and Dr. Lorrae Ward
Published: June 2010

Laptops for teachers: An evaluation of the TELA scheme in schools (Years 4 to 6)
This evaluation reports on the impacts of the Laptops for Teachers Scheme on Years 4 to 6 teachers’ work over a period of three years (2004-2006) and records emerging changes in laptop use.
Authors: Bronwen Cowie, Alister Jones & Ann Harlow with Mike Forret, Clive McGee, & Thelma Miller
Published: May 2010

Laptops for Teachers: An evaluation of the TELA scheme in Otago schools
This evaluation reports on the impacts of the Laptops for Teachers Scheme (TELA) on primary schools within the Otago region.
Authors: Keryn Pratt, Kwok-Wing Lai & Ann Trewern with Fiona Concannon & Harriet Sutton
Published: May 2010

Outcomes for teachers and students in the ICT PD School Clusters Programme 2005-2007 - A national overview
This report focuses on the effectiveness of the 2005-2007 Information and Communication Technologies Professional Development (ICT PD) School Clusters programmes and supplements previous evaluations of the first five ICT PD programmes. It is part of an ongoing evaluation of the ICT PD teacher professional development initiative, which has been implemented in New Zealand since 1999.
Author: Vince Ham
Published: July 2009

TELA: Laptops for teachers evaluation - Final report Years 7 & 8
The purpose of this evaluation was to investigate the impacts of the Laptops for Teachers Scheme on Years 7 to 8 teachers’ work over a period of three years (2004-2006) and to record emerging changes in laptop use.
Authors: Bronwen Cowie, Alister Jones & Ann Harlow with Mike Forret, Clive McGee & Thelma Miller
Published: June 2008

TELA: Laptops for Teachers Evaluation - Final report Years 9-13
The purpose of this evaluation was to investigate the impacts of the Laptops for Teachers Scheme on Years 9 to 13 teachers’ work over a period of four years (2003-2006) and to record emerging changes in laptop use.
Authors: Bronwen Cowie, Alister Jones, Ann Harlow, Clive McGee, Bev Cooper, Mike Forret, Thelma Miller, & Ben Gardiner
Published: June 2008

School ICT Network Infrastructure Upgrade Project: Evaluation of early impacts
This report reviews the early impacts of the Network Infrastructure Upgrade Project, which provides small schools with either an upgrade to an outdated computer network, or installs a new network if none exists. Fifty schools were selected to participate in this evaluation where either the principal or their representative was interviewed.
Authors: L. Ward, B. Weston and T. Bowker
Published: March 2007


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